Center for Latter-day Saint Arts

On This Day...

A DAILY FACTOID OF OUR ART HISTORY

Jan. 25

The glowing reviews flowed in on this day (2015) the morning after the premiere of Douglas Pew's opera, Penny, at the Washington National Opera's American Opera Initiative. The story of an autistic woman (libretto by Dara Weinberg) was commissioned by the Washington National Opera.

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Glen Nelson
Jan. 24

Opera composer John Laurence Seymour's disastrous Met opera premiere took place on this day (1935): In the Pasha's Garden. It "...had its premiere at the Metropolitan last week and established an all-time record for dullness and ineptitude," proclaimed Time magazine 2/4/1935.

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Glen Nelson
Jan. 23

Marie is a little bit country; Donny, a little bit rock and roll for the first time on this day (1976) as the Donny & Marie Show premiered on ABC tv with guests Lee Majors, Farrah Fawcett, and Vincent Price. The series continued for three years and 78 episodes.

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Glen Nelson
Jan. 22

Born on this day (1865), Nephi Anderson's most acclaimed work was his first novel, Added Upon, in which spirit children move from the pre-existence to the mortal world to the life after death. Originally published in 1898, the novel influenced many works of Mormon literature, including Saturday's Warrior. Anderson went on to write numerous novels, nonfiction books, short stories, and works of poetry, much of which involved LDS themes.

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Glen Nelson
Jan 20

Born on this day (1903) is author Maurine Whipple, whose novel, The Giant Joshua (1941) is considered the finest Mormon novel before 1980. It tells of Abijah MacIntrye and his polygamist wives, living in St. George, Utah and environs. Using fictional characters and historical figures, the novel presents the trials of polygamy as a test of faithfulness.

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Glen Nelson
Jan. 19

Natacha Rambova was born Winifred Kimball Shaughnessy on this day (1897). Wife of silent film star Rudolph Valentino, Egyptologist, Hollywood costume designer, dancer, Rambova once held a séance in the Tabernacle on Temple Square with her cousin Edward P. Kimball playing on the organ. Her guest, George Wehner, a "spiritualist" wrote that he beheld a vision, "I saw the whole interior of the Tabernacle shimmering in a glorious blaze of golden light, in the midst of which appeared in the air above the organ, the figure of a young man in blue robes holding a long trumpet of gold. From my clairvoyant description of this radiant being my friends recognized the spirit as that of the Angel Moroni…who led his people across the plains and deserts to ultimate safey…as a beacon light of faith and love.’" "Madame Valentino: The Many Lives of Natacha Rambova" by Michael Morris, pp. 195-196.

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Glen Nelson
Jan. 17

Sundance Film Festival entry, Mitt premiered on this day (2014), a humanizing documentary of 2012 presidential candidate Mitt Romney by Greg Whiteley. Its Rotten Tomatoes approval rating of 81% compares with the candidate's 47.2% of the popular vote.

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Glen Nelson
Jan. 16

The Reed Smoot hearings began on this day (1904), a year after the senator from Utah was elected. He was denied his seat because of American suspicions that the apostle who had been a polygamist could represent the country fairly. He was finally seated as a U.S. senator February 20, 1907, where he remained until 1932.

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Glen Nelson
Jan. 15

Orson Scott Card unleashed alien insects on the world in Ender's Game, published on this day (1985) It was first published as a short story in August 1977 (Analog Science Fiction and Fact). Winner of 1985 Nebula Award (best novel) and 1986 Hugo Award (best novel). Sequels followed.

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Glen Nelson
Jan. 14

Lex de Azevedo was born on this day (1943). Son of one of the King Sisters, he composed the music for the popular musical and film, Saturday’s Warrior (1973) (book and lyrics by Douglas Stewart). The story, inspired by Nephi Anderson’s Added Upon (1898), follows a family throughout their premortal to mortal existences and beyond. De Azevedo has also been nominated for a Golden Globe and has served as musical director for The Sonny & Cher Show, and for the Jackson Five and the Osmonds.

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Glen Nelson
Jan. 12

A group of nine artists whose modern works had been victims of censorship and criticism, including George Dibble, Calvin Fletcher, and Henry Rasmussen, wrote a document that came to be known as the "Modern Art Manifesto." Based on its philosophies of developing Modernism in Utah, the Utah State Art Center held an exhibition surrounding this day (1942) to show what they were trying to achieve.

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Glen Nelson
Jan . 11

In addition to being in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, George Q. Cannon (who was born on this day, 1827) had a long career in publishing that he used to support the Church. He was an editor of the Deseret News, published the Juvenile Instructor, started the Western Standard newspaper, and assisted in the publishing of the Times and Seasons and the Nauvoo Neighbor. His other books and articles about the Church were intended to help the youth and educate the general public about the Mormons.

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Glen Nelson
Jan. 9

The Naked Communist (1958) author, W. Cleon Skousen died on this day (2006). Politically conservative and fiercely anti-communist, Skousen 's books became lightning rods between political parties.

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Glen Nelson
Jan. 8

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra performed Stephen Jones' work, At the exactest point, on this day (2004). Commissioned by the Orchestra in 1998, the 18-minute work was recorded by Tantara records.

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Glen Nelson
Jan. 7

Joseph Alma Freestone Everett was born on this day, in Salt Lake City (1883). Everett was a painter and teacher, even giving private art lessons to the children of President Heber J Grant, and was known as one of the most beloved artists that ever came from Utah.

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Glen Nelson
Jan. 6

On this day (2018) the Robb Report announced that penmaker David Oscarson won its annual Best of the Best award for the fourth time. Exquisite craftsmanship and old-world virtuosity combined in his Russian Imperial collection, created on the 100th anniversary of the Romanov family's abdication from the throne. Russian Imperial was Oscarson's 28th limited edition pen series.

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Glen Nelson
Jan. 5

Douglas Thayer's novel, The Tree House was published on this day (2009). Drawing from the author's experience as a missionary in Germany, the novel--considered by some to be the best Mormon novel to date--follows Harris Thatcher's mission in post-war Germany and then his own harrowing war service in Korea.

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Glen Nelson
Jan. 3

TV producer and writer Glen A. Larson was born on this day (1937). After an early career as a singer/composer, he developed the following shows as writer or executive producer: The Six Million Dollar Man, Battlestar Galactica, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, Quincy, M.E., The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries, Magnum, P.I., Knight Rider, and other hits.

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Glen Nelson
Jan. 2

Alice Merrill Horne, the greatest of the early Utah artist advocates was born on this day (1868). Art gallerist, state legislator, author, general Relief Society board member, teacher and activist, Horne created legislation to establish Utah's state art collection and art institute and was an influential advocate, particularly for visual artists, without peer.

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Glen Nelson
Jan. 1

“Scott Sterling and his face of steel!” was but a gleam in BYU-TV’s eye on this day (2000), when the cable channel debuted. Owned and operated by Brigham Young University, BYU-TV produces family oriented original series including Studio C, reality programs, documentaries, sporting events, and film

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Glen Nelson